Mercedes V-Class Review
A large, spacious people carrier, the V-Class mixes practicality with premium levels of comfort and equipment
Strengths & weaknesses
- Spacious cabin
- Flexible seating
- Easy to drive
- Running costs
- Expensive to buy
- Large and sometimes unwieldy in town
Larger families for whom even an MPV isn’t big enough can supersize their vehicle and opt for something even bigger, in the form of a people carrier based on a van layout.
Volkswagen offers the Transporter-based Caravelle, Hyundai offers the i800 and Mercedes-Benz takes the premium end of the market with its V-Class, which has been on sale since 2015.
There’s lot to find favour in the V-Class, with the most obvious appeal being its spacious cabin. How spacious it is depends on which of the three lengths (ranging from 4895mm to 5370mm) that buyers opt for: Standard, Long or Extra Long. All are roomy and practical, but extending to Extra Long does add a lot more bootspace – 1,410 litres, compared to the 610 litres of the Standard vehicle and 1,030 litres in the Long versions. For buyers who take a lot of family trips (or commercial users using a V-Class for a shuttle or private hire vehicle), this is very useful extra space for luggage. That said, even the Standard boot can pack in quite a few carry-on wheeled cases.
The choice of body length also means a resulting choice of seven- or eight-seat configurations. The Standard vehicle has seven seats (two at the front, and two individual seats and a three-seat bench in the main part of the cabin), while Long and Extra Long variants are also available with eight seats (facilitated by two three-seat benches). All offer plenty of space for adults, with the three-seat benches comprising three individual seats. Seven-seat versions enable the individual seats to be positioned facing forward or to the rear, with a folding table offering additional practicality (especially on long journeys).
The front seats are also comfortable, with full adjustability, the ability to be heated and armrests. The dashboard layout also ensures that all the major controls are within reach (the gear lever, in common with most Mercedes-Benz vehicles with automatic transmission, is mounted on the steering column) and there’s a practical and usable infotainment system that includes satellite navigation and smartphone integration (although for Apple Carplay and Android Auto, buyers need to add the optional Comand Online system, for £1,850).
The V-Class is easy to drive, with its seven-speed automatic gearbox ensuring drama-free changes and accurate steering ensuring driver confidence. It’s not exactly the most dynamic vehicle to drive, but it eats up the highway miles and rides well enough to make the occupants’ journeys comfortable.
The standard of design is high, too: it's not easy to make a slabby, boxy vehicle such as this look good, but the design team at Mercedes has had a good go, with contoured sides adding an element of sculptural styling. The same goes for the interior, with its leather seats and ergonomic practicality.
With prices starting from £48,945 OTR (including VAT), the V-Class isn’t a cheap vehicle, but the Caravelle is similarly priced for many of its comparable variants. That said, buyers do get an awful lot for their money and if seven/eight seats and a spacious, practical large vehicle are what’s required, the V-Class will do the job with some style and without hideous (although not insignificant) running costs.
|Warranty||Three years/unlimited mileage|
|Boot size||610-1,410 litres|
|Tax||£515 in the first year, £140 thereafter|
Best Mercedes-Benz V Class for...
Best for Economy – Mercedes-Benz V 220 d Standard
The standard-length V-Class with the less powerful engine is the more efficient of the two engine options, with an official consumption figure of 45.6mpg.
Best for Families – Mercedes-Benz V 220 d Extra Length
The extra space – in the cabin and in the boot – afforded by the longer-bodied V-Class makes it a more practical proposition for larger families.
- March 2015: V-Class launched in the UK
Understanding Mercedes-Benz V Class names
There are two engine options, both based on a 2.1-litre diesel unit. The 220 d has an output of 163PS, while the more powerful 250 d produces 190PS.
Trim AMG Line
There are just two trim levels. The base Sport trim is fitted with quite a lot of standard equipment, with the more expensive AMG Line including even more kit.
Mercedes-Benz V Class Engines
220 d, 250 d
The V-Class comes powered by just one kind of engine, a 2.1-litre diesel unit that is available in two different versions.
The base spec is the 220 d with a 163PS output that has an official fuel consumption figure of 45.6mpg and CO2 emissions of 163g/km. With a 0-62mph time of 11.8 seconds and top speed of 121mph, it's clearly built for cruising.
Adding another 27PS to take power up to 190PS, the 250 d is quicker (0-62mph in 9.1 seconds and a 129mph top speed), but without too much of an efficiency penalty, as economy drops slightly to 44.8mpg and CO2 emissions increase to 166g/km. There’s plenty of performance with this version, cruising and overtaking comfortably at motorway speeds and with enough grunt to pick up with surprisingly pace from a standing start for such a large vehicle.
Mercedes-Benz V Class Trims
Sport, AMG Line
The V-Class is available in three different sizes (Standard, Long and Extra Long) and two trim levels.
The V-Class Sport features standard equipment that includes 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and tail lights, Active Parking Assist with reversing camera, roof rails, electrically folding mirrors, automatically dimming exterior driver’s mirror and rear-view mirror, powered tailgate, electric sliding doors, Agility Control comfort suspension, full-length sunroof (on Long cars only) and privacy glass. Inside, there’s black nappa leather, heated comfort front seats, ambient lighting, multifunction steering wheel, infotainment system (with navigation, DAB, Bluetooth and iPhone interface).
AMG Line adds 19-inch alloy wheels, AMG bodystyling features including a spoiler lip and front apron, rear apron with load sill guard in chrome and side sill panels; nappa leather seats, carbon-look trim and air vents in chrome; and sports pedals.
Mercedes-Benz V Class Reliability and warranty
The V-Class doesn’t sell in large enough numbers to register on the Driver Power survey, but a couple of Mercedes-Benz cars do make the top 75 cars, with the C-Class in the top 30.
Mercedes-Benz as a manufacturer doesn’t have a great showing in the list of most reliable manufacturers, though, coming in 21st place out of 27.
The warranty for the V-Class covers three years and an unlimited mileage in that period, which is pretty standard for the industry (although the Hyundai i800 has a five-year triple care package).
Used Mercedes-Benz V Class
If you want to pick up a used V-Class, two- or three-year-old models are available at healthy prices (for buyers) on BuyaCar: you can expect to save around 40% of the purchase price and pay £32,000 to £36,000 for vehicles with less than 40,000 miles on the clock (in some cases, as low as 20,000 miles).
Year-old, nearly new vehicles with less than 5,000 miles racked up are also on the market with around £10,000 off the list price when new.